on the earth barefoot, free electrons from the earth transfer
into your body via the soles of your feet. These free electrons
are some of the most potent antioxidants known to man.
grounding, due to widespread use of rubber or plastic-soled shoes,
may have contributed to the rise of modern diseases by allowing
chronic inflammation to proliferate unchecked.
have shown that free electrons from the earth cause beneficial
changes in heart rate, decreases inflammation, reduces pain, promotes
healthy sleep, and thins your blood, making it less viscous, which
has beneficial impact on cardiovascular disease.
for earthing are on the beach, close to or in the water, and on
Dr. James Oschman
is an expert in the field of energy medicine, with a Bachelor's
Degree in Biophysics and a PhD in Biology from the University of
As an author
of a number of books, he is widely recognized as an authority in
the biophysics of energy medicine. In this interview he discusses
the practice of "earthing," or grounding.
school of alternative medicine talks about "energy," although they
may use a variety of words to describe it. But what is this fundamental
"energy" you keep hearing about?
was also introduced to earthing, or grounding, and his research
in this area has turned up some very interesting and compelling
information about how the energy from the Earth can help you live
a healthier life. He has recently written the Foreword for a new
book by Clinton Ober, Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra and M. Zucker, entitled
the most important health discovery ever?iii
published in 2010 (Basic Health Publications, Inc., Laguna Beach,
If you're like
most people, you probably wear shoes with rubber or plastic soles
for the better part of each day. Read on to learn why shoes might
be one of the banes of modern existence.
of earthing, also known as grounding, was initially developed by
Clint Ober. Stated in the simplest terms possible, earthing is simply
walking barefoot; grounding your body to the Earth. Oschman was
introduced to Ober via Jeff Spencer, the chiropractor for Lance
Armstrong's cycling team and an expert in treating professional
described the earthing phenomenon to Jeff, Jeff immediately called
me and had me fly out to California to meet Clint and talk about
what kind of research could be done to find out what is going on,"
have known for a long time that walking barefoot feels good. There
are places in the world like Germany and Austria and Switzerland
with communities where there is a tradition of getting up in the
morning and going barefoot."
My own introduction
to the concept of earthing was also through Jeff Spencer, some five
or six years ago. I found it very intriguing, although I initially
approached it with some skepticism. As you will soon see, it's a
simple concept to some it may appear too simple.
Dr. Oschman is now able to provide the scientific groundwork for
understanding what actually occurs. In fact, his team has now published
about a dozen papers on this topic.
to You When You Walk Barefoot?
Your skin in
general is a very good conductor. You can connect any part of your
skin to the Earth, but if you compare various parts there is one
that is especially potent, and that's right in the middle of the
ball of your foot; a point known to acupuncturists as Kidney 1 (K1).
It's a well-known point that conductively connects to all of the
acupuncture meridians and essentially connects to every nook and
cranny of your body. Interestingly, grounding or rather the lack
thereof has a lot to do with the rise of modern diseases.
How is this?
Well, Dr. Oschman's
research into grounding has led him to better understand inflammation.
I've discussed before, chronic inflammation is a primary cause of
virtually all disease, from diabetes to cancer. And by looking at
what happens during grounding, the answer to why chronic inflammation
is so prevalent, and what is needed to prevent it, is becoming better
grounded there's a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into
your body. And these free electrons are probably the most potent
antioxidants known to man.
are responsible for the clinical observations from grounding experiments,
changes in heart rate
levels of inflammation
To better understand
the science behind what happens during grounding and how it impacts
the inflammatory response, Dr. Oschman begins by explaining what
happens when you experience an injury.
slightest bump, if you bump the door, your immune system immediately
responds by sending white blood cells (neutrophils) to the place
secrete a Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)… called free radicals, in
what's referred to as an oxidative burst... These are like Pac-Man.
They are very important molecules that tear things apart. If bacteria
have gotten through your skin, these free radicals will destroy
the bacteria very quickly. If you have damaged cells, the free radicals
will break them apart so that there is a space for healthy cells
to move in and repair the tissues.
known as the inflammatory response.
have discovered that is truly profound is this: we now understand
why you get the inflammatory response, which has five characteristics:
pain, redness, heat, loss of range of motion, and swelling. All
of those are the five hallmarks of inflammation and it turns out
that that doesn't have to happen.
which in medicine is considered an important part of the healing
process, is really an artifact caused by lack of electrons in your
tissues. What happens is, the neutrophils deliver the Reactive Oxygen
Species (ROS) to the site of injury, but in so doing, some of those
free radicals can leak into the surrounding tissue and damage healthy
tissue. That's what creates the inflammatory response".
grounding research has now discovered that if you place your feet
on the ground after an injury (or on a grounded sheet, or place
grounding patches on the balls of your feet), electrons will migrate
into your body and spread through your tissues. Any free radicals
that leak into the healthy tissue will immediately be electrically
neutralized. This occurs because the electrons are negative, while
the free radicals are positive, so they cancel each other out.
what is happening with grounding or earthing is that you're protecting
your body from I call it, collateral damage," Dr. Oschman
says. "Damage that was not intended to take place but does take
place because we have disconnected ourselves from the Earth by putting
rubber and plastic on the bottoms of our shoes."
an Anti-Aging Strategy
One of dominant
theories on aging is the free radical theory, which is that aging
occurs because of accumulative damage to your body caused by free
radicals. You get free radicals when you have an injury or chronic
inflammation, from breathing, and from the food you eat, among other
things. While you don't want to completely eliminate ALL free radicals,
you do want to maintain a healthy balance of antioxidant electrons
in your body to ensure the damage from free radicals doesn't' get
out of hand.
help accomplish this delicate balance. There are three kinds of
sub-models of the aging process caused by free radicals.
and mutation due to free radical damage
theory. Mitochondria in every cell in your body carry out oxidative
metabolism and a byproduct is free radicals. Eventually the mitochondria
wear out or self-destruct due to excess free radicals
cross linking theory, which explains why you get wrinkles in your
skin. The proteins stick to each other, reducing the efficiency
to me, from my study of biophysics and cell biology, like the body
is designed with a semi-conductive fabric that connects everything
in the body, including inside of every cell," Dr. Oschman says.
to this system as the living matrix. Those electrons that enter
the bottom of your foot can move anywhere in your body. Any place
where a free radical forms, there are electrons nearby that can
neutralize that free radical and prevent any of those processes:
mitochondrial damage, cross linking of proteins, and mutation or
whole fabric is basically an antioxidant defense system that is
in every part of our body.
this material called ground substance which is part of the connective
tissue. It goes everywhere in the body. It's a gel material and
it stores electrons. So that if you go barefoot, you will take in
electrons and your body will store them, and they will be available
at any point where you might have an injury, or any point where
a free radical might form..."
Affects Your Blood
important discovery, and one of the most recent, is that grounding
thins your blood, making it less viscous. This discovery can have
a profound impact on cardiovascular disease, which is now the number
one killer in the world. Virtually every aspect of cardiovascular
disease has been correlated with elevated blood viscosity. Dr. Sinatra
has been coaching Dr. Oschman's team in how to measure blood viscosity
using a method called zeta potential. It measures the potential
on your red blood cells by determining how fast they migrate in
an electrical field.
It turns out
that when you ground to the earth, your zeta potential quickly rises,
which means your red blood cells have more charge on their surface,
which forces them apart from each other. This action causes your
blood to thin and flow easier. It also causes your blood pressure
implication of this is that by repelling each other, your red blood
cells are less inclined to stick together and form a clot. Blood
clots don't have to be very big to form like a pulmonary embolus
that would kill you instantly, so this is a significant benefit.
Additionally, if your zeta potential is high, which grounding can
facilitate, you not only decrease your heart disease risk but also
your risk of multi-infarct dementias, where you start losing brain
tissue due to micro-clotting in your brain.
The Best Surfaces
simplest way to ground is to walk barefoot outside when safe
to do so. But what about urban or city dwellers who are surrounded
by asphalt and concrete? Can you ground on those? And what
about natural surfaces which ones are the most effective? There
are indeed significant differences between various surfaces.
The ideal location
for walking barefoot is the beach, close to or in the water, as
sea water is a great conductor. Your body also contains mostly water,
so it creates a good connection.
A close second
would be a grassy area, especially if it's covered with dew, which
is what you'd find if you walk early in the morning. According to
Dr. Oschman, concrete is a good conductor as long as it hasn't been
sealed. Painted concrete does not allow electrons to pass through
very well. Materials like asphalt, wood, and typical insulators
like plastic or the soles of your shoes, will not allow electrons
to pass through and are not suitable for barefoot grounding.
in a High-Rise Could be Detrimental to Your Health
there's a major difference between standing outside in your bare
feet and standing outside in shoes. And, how high up you are, off
the surface of the Earth, without being grounded also matters. Why
surface is electrically charged and can push electrons up in your
body. So from the top of your head to the Earth, there is a potential,
which you don't feel because it doesn't cause any any particular
current to flow, even though it can be a couple of hundred volts.
If it did, it would give you a shock.
is when the weather changes is that the potential can go up enormously.
It can go from a hundred volts per meter to 10,000 volts per meter.
That's pre lightning. We're talking about the potential that causes
lightning to come to the earth. That voltage is well known and well
the potential between the surface of the earth and the ionosphere,
hundreds of miles up, which is very electrically active; charged
by the solar wind, the charged particles that come from the sun.
Those charged particles eventually reach the Earth by lightning
and electrify the entire surface of the Earth so that anywhere you
touch the Earth, there are electrons. They come originally from
the sun, to the ionosphere, to the earth.
no lightning happening right here right now but somewhere there
is lightning, a constant current flow from the ionosphere to the
earth. Those are the electrons that your body needs for your immune
system to function properly."
What this means
is that the higher up you are, separated from the surface of the
Earth, the higher this potential would be, and the worse the implications
for your health if you're not grounded. For example, if you live
on the 20th floor of a high-rise and you're not grounded
(using grounding technology, of course), the consequences to your
health will be more significant than if you lived on the first floor.
Likewise, when you wear rubber- or plastic-soled shoes, you are
effectively shielding yourself from this beneficial influx of electrons
from the Earth. For optimal immune function, you want these
electrons to enter your body, so make sure you take your shoes off
now and then!
to Incorporate Grounding Into Your Daily Life
barefoot outdoors is one of the most wonderful, inexpensive and
powerful ways of incorporating earthing into your daily life and
will also help speed up tissue repair and ease muscle pain due to